We’ve all had a certain degree of stress in our lives, especially over the past year dealing with a pandemic. As director, closing the Library for seven months and developing safe practices and alternative ways to serve the public was somewhat stressful, but far less stress than many others were experiencing. Shelby and I heard from our patrons, that we were saving their sanity by providing books during this time. We all know reading can be a great stress reducer and so can humor.

The Agnes Robinson Waterloo Public Library is helping readers embrace humor to reduce stress together during the next Big Library Read, the world’s largest digital book club. From April 5-19, readers can learn stress-managing techniques from psychologist and stand-up comedian Brian King’s The Art of Taking It Easy ebook from their public library. Agnes Robinson Waterloo Public Library members can borrow the ebook without waiting by visiting https://waterloo.biblionix.com/catalog or downloading the Libby app. Readers can then discuss online at https://biglibraryread.com/join-the-discussion//. Big Library Read is available in over 20,000 libraries around the world, including more than 90 percent of public libraries in North America. During past programs, readers have participated in engaging online discussions about the title.

From a psychologist and stand-up comedian comes The Art of Taking It Easy, a practical, yet laugh-out-loud guide to embracing humor to reduce stress and live a happier, fuller life. Dr. Brian King got a degree in psychology before becoming a world-touring comic and the host of humor therapy seminars attended by more than ten thousand people each year. In this brilliant guide, he presents hands-on techniques for managing stress by rewiring our brains to approach potentially difficult situations through a lens of positivity. To do so, Dr. King explores what stress is, where it comes from, and what it does to our bodies and brains. He delves deep into how to address everyday stress—as well as anxiety, insecurities, repression, and negativity—and gives insight into resulting ailments such as anxiety disorders, depression, hypertension, obesity, substance abuse disorders, and more. Dr. King’s techniques are chemical and cost free, and embrace humor, resilience, relaxation, optimism, gratitude, and acceptance. Instead of a dry medical approach to dealing with stress, this unique volume is filled with life-changing tips and instructions presented with humor and a wealth of memorable, smile-inducing anecdotes.

The program is facilitated by OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform. The Agnes Robinson Waterloo Public Library joined the list of Nebraska OverDrive Libraries in 2014 when we switched to a compatible automation system. This opened up a new digital world for our Library users, allowing access to our online catalog, including the shared and growing OverDrive collection of digital downloadable audiobooks and eBooks. The Art of Taking It Easy can be read on all major computers and devices through Libby or libbyapp.com, including iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phones and tablets and Chromebook™ without waitlists or holds. Through Libby, readers can also “send to Kindle®.” This free program runs for two weeks and only requires an Agnes Robinson Waterloo Public Library membership to get started. Stop in the Library to sign up for a membership or apply at: https://waterloo.biblionix.com/catalog/?signup=1. The title will automatically expire at the end of the lending period, and there are no late fees. To join the discussion, learn about past Big Library Read titles and download Libby, visit biglibraryread.com.

If you have already enjoyed using our digital collection, then you know what a valuable resource it is. If you are a first-timer and want information on how to access OverDrive, download the Libby app, or need your log-in information and password, contact the Library at (402) 779-4171 or by email at waterloonelibrary@gmail.com.

Enjoy the Big Library Read!

Julie Jorgensen, Library Director

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